The U.S. says it believes in democracy regardless of all its challenges and flaws because of the opportunities it offers to the electorate for wholesome change in a leadership that fails to deliver dividends of the system.
Chargé d’Affaires of the U.S, Embassy in Nigeria, Mr David Greene, expressed the thought during an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja.
Greene stressed that it is the duty of the Nigerian electorate and the political system to hold elected officials accountable, saying: “This is the magic of the democratic system.
“Democratic systems need to deliver to its citizens that are participants. It is up to citizens under democratically elected governments not delivering to create change. That is why we believe in democracy. For all its challenges and flaws it is the best system of elected-presentation.”
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Responding to a question on whether the U.S. is considering going beyond imposing visa-ban on politicians who undermine the democratic process by exposing them, Greene said, “I am not in the position to judge these things. It is for the Nigerian people to judge.”
He underscored the need for amicable resolution of electoral disputes to guarantee the legality of elections and electoral procedures as well as the sustenance of democratic rule.
Responding to a question on the practice by political actors to manipulate election results and the resultant litigations, according to him, though disputes often arise from democratic processes, more should be done to amicably resolve election disputes in the aftermath of elections to ensure fairness of the process.
“We know as anyone else that democracy can be messy. Disputes arise and that is inevitable in the system.
“We are always working to improve and I think that is the case in Nigeria.
“The key when confronted with a post-election dispute is that all sides should avoid violence and use the legal peaceful process.
“Such means have already been identified for the resolution of disputes. It may not be ideal to have an election that is won in a court of law but it happens in the U.S.
“It happens around the world. It happens in Nigeria. So one cannot take issues without the phase of it.
“What I do think is that the cause of such a legal process should transpire transparently, according to the constitution that is in place,” he said.
On the issue of violence that black people have been subject to, especially police brutality, the envoy gave an assurance that measures have been put in place to enable citizens to live under principles of democracy. (NAN)
“Democracy is not a perfect system, we are seeking to approve an absolute measure. What we are trying to do is strive to live up to our aspirations and values as principles.”